Women defeat Kent
The Eastern Michigan University women’s basketball team had four players score in double figures in a win over Kent State, 78-72, in the opening game of a doubleheader at the Convocation Center on Saturday.
“It felt wonderful,” guard Tavelyn James said. “We almost let them get back in the game. We dug it out and we played harder.”
EMU led KSU (14-8, 7-3 MAC) at the half 38-26, when James hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer, but allowed the Golden Flashes back in the game late.
Eastern led 69-66 with 4:56 to play after Lorriane Odhiambo hit a jumper in the paint for Kent State. Luckily for the Eagles, they kept getting out and scoring in transition as well as scoring off turnovers.
EMU (17-5,7-3 MAC) had 26 points from turnovers and 12 from fast breaks.
“Well, we have to run to score,” Sydney Huntley said. “Nobody can really keep up with us. So, the more we run, the more opportunities people get to score because it puts pressure on the defense and you don’t know who to guard when there are so many people running in a transition set.”
James led the Eagles with 19 points, Cassie Schrock had 15 points and six assists, Huntley had 12 points, and Paige Redditt had 12 points and nine rebounds.
“Something we try to work towards is getting better every game,” Huntley said. “Individually, coach has talked about people accepting their roles and I do think people are coming into that, slowly but surely.”
Huntley seems to have found her niche on the team as of late. In the past four games, the junior guard has averaged 18.5 points to go with 3.5 three-pointers and 27 minutes played.
“Well, I’ve just been playing with a lot more confidence,” she said. “I don’t think at the beginning of the year I tried to play my role, but I never really accepted that for us to be successful, I had to do better.
“And I understand that now, that I’m a big part of the team’s success, and that’s something that I’ve tried to do. I’m regaining my flow now.”
Said James: “She has a lot of confidence. She’s been knocking down shots and playing good defense, so you know all we can do is use her.”
James is certainly still in the rhythm she’s been in all season in terms of scoring. Her 19 against Kent State on Saturday comes fresh off of her game against Buffalo where she scored 40.
“OK, so it was kind of weird because (Buffalo) doesn’t have the jumbotron like we have to show how many points you scored,” she said. “I didn’t even know I had 40 points until the end of the game. I almost was just hitting everything.”
Huntley was one of the witnesses to James’ scoring outburst, saying, “It was something to see.
“She’s like a blur of light up the right wing,” she said. “She’s perfected it. No one in the country can run the right wing like she can. She’s just an attacker who plays with confidence and she knows what she’s doing. She’s a pro at it.”
Next up for James and the Eagles is the RedHawks of Miami on Wednesday at the Convocation Center. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.
Men defeat Ohio
The EMU men’s basketball team used strong performances from the trio of Carlos Medlock, Brandon Bowdry and Justin Dobbins to top Ohio University, 70-61, on Saturday at the Convocation Center.
Medlock was the leading scorer in the game for the Eagles (12-11, 4-6 MAC) with 31 points. He also contributed four assists and four rebounds.
Bowdry had 17 points and 15 rebounds, good for his 12th double-double of the season, and Justin Dobbins had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
“Our big three are doing it now we need 4, 5, 6 to step up,” coach Charles Ramsey said.
“We would be really good if we could get (Quintin) Dailey, (Jay) Higgins, and (Antonio) Green to jump on board.”
Ohio (12-11, 3-6) was led by Armon Bassett’s 19 points.
The game remained close throughout, as there were nine lead changes and six times where the game was tied. EMU led Ohio 25-22 at the half.
With 9:07 left to play, Dobbins took a Bowdry miss and converted on a dunk to put the Eagles ahead 48-46. The Eagles would maintain their lead from that point on.
“We are playing catch up,” Ramsey said in response to his team’s position thus far. “February has been good for us.”
The men’s squad will travel to New York on Wednesday to play the University of Buffalo. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.